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View Poll Results: Should firefighters have to put out the fire at the house even though he didn't pay?
Yes. 29 93.55%
No. 2 6.45%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 12:38 AM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/
Quote:
Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee.

Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

"They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.

The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

"We wasn't on their list," he said the operators told him.

Cranick, who lives outside the city limits, admits he "forgot" to pay the annual $75 fee. The county does not have a county-wide firefighting service, but South Fulton offers fire coverage to rural residents for a fee.

Cranick says he told the operator he would pay whatever is necessary to have the fire put out.

His offer wasn't accepted, he said.

The fire fee policy dates back 20 or so years.

"Anybody that's not inside the city limits of South Fulton, it's a service we offer. Either they accept it or they don't," said South Fulton Mayor David Crocker.

The fire department's decision to let the home burn was "incredibly irresponsible," said the president of an association representing firefighters.

"Professional, career firefighters shouldn’t be forced to check a list before running out the door to see which homeowners have paid up," Harold Schatisberger, International Association of Fire Fighters president, said in a statement. "They get in their trucks and go."

Firefighters did eventually show up, but only to fight the fire on the neighboring property, whose owner had paid the fee.

"They put water out on the fence line out here. They never said nothing to me. Never acknowledged. They stood out here and watched it burn," Cranick said.

South Fulton's mayor said that the fire department can't let homeowners pay the fee on the spot, because the only people who would pay would be those whose homes are on fire.

Cranick, who is now living in a trailer on his property, says his insurance policy will help cover some of his lost home.

"Insurance is going to pay for what money I had on the policy, looks like. But like everything else, I didn't have enough."

After the blaze, South Fulton police arrested one of Cranick's sons, Timothy Allen Cranick, on an aggravated assault charge, according to WPSD-TV, an NBC station in Paducah, Ky.

Police told WPSD that the younger Cranick attacked Fire Chief David Wilds at the firehouse because he was upset his father's house was allowed to burn.

WPSD-TV reported that Wilds was treated and released.
What do you think? Do you think the firefighters where right to let the house burn because of the $75 the owner didn't pay? There were dogs and cats inside. What would have happened if there were people inside? Just let them die?
When did $75 > Life?


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 12:43 AM

Yes, they should. It's their job.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 01:06 AM

One of the things any honorable firefighter will tell you is that a life, and people's safety is their number one priority. A little bit of money isn't a big deal and shouldn't put Cranick's life or safety in jeopardy. LIFE is the most important thing - not a silly $75 fee.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 01:12 AM

I think they could've handled it differently. They should've charged an extra 250 dollar fee or something for not paying the fee and be able to save the house and animals. That way, everyone would be happy.
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 01:19 AM

what happens when you dont pay your bills..

sorta like not paying your insurance bill and your roof falling in cause a tree fell on it and calling insurance company trying to make a claim and offer to pay your missed payment...

i dont agree with it,, but still he didnt pay his bill or whatever so its sorta his own fault
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 01:23 AM

Yes.

How can anyone tell someone "No, I will not help save your livelihood [being presumptuous here] because of X technicality"? That's horrible. And not that it makes a big difference, but the man said he would pay whatever was necessary. Jesus. How can one be so heartless?

Would it have made a difference if there were people inside? Would that have been enough to persuade the operator that was okay?

And at what point did the operator stop and say "Hey bro, I'd love to save you, but let me just check quick and make sure--ohhh, guess what you forgot?"



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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 01:25 AM

I think the areas around here contract with fire departments and they don't assess fees to the individual resident like that.
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 03:44 AM

Of course they had NO right to let the house burn down. Omg its $75 vs a life. They should just have some rule that if you dont pay your fee on time, an extra $20 is added on or something. I dont know but that certainnly should not have happened.
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 05:55 AM

This is in Tennessee/Kentucky, where most of the area is rural. The firefighters had their orders, and I doubt they could disobey them and kept their job. In rural areas where there are no volunteer fire departments, this is what happens. No, it's not right, and it's not fire, but it's part of life. Should they have done something, yes. Could they? Probably not without losing their jobs. Look at both sides of the coin here, it's not a pretty picture but you have to see both sides of the story.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 06:46 AM

Yes they should've put the fire out. Because of those heartless firefighters THREE animals died a horrible slow painful death. Not to mention it's their JOB to put out fires. I pray that those animals didn't suffer. I pray for that family who is now homeless.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 10:01 AM

$75 isn't even that much money. They should have put the fire out whether he owed 75 or 75,000. It's one thing to let all their possessions burn up in flames, but somebody's life could have been at risk. I can't believe some people will put money before life.




   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 10:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by emma01 View Post
Of course they had NO right to let the house burn down.
Technically they did have the right to let it burn down...

But yes, they should of handled the whole thing differently, perhaps make them pay the $75 and then charging them something extra, like an extra $200, then they wouldn't forget the next year.
Personally I think the state should pay for everyone though ¬.¬
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 11:13 AM

Four animals died because of them. The fact that the firefighters didn't do something to save four lives, even if the lives weren't human .. it's disgusting. Period. I don't care about the fee, four living things DIED over 75 dollars.
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 02:03 PM

I think this is so wrong. This is not just some 'average' job, this is peoples lives, their whole house and their belongings, and they could just shrug it off because of £75?

I think it's disgusting that they could do this, and they should have a little more pride in their work, and their passion to help people and should have done it regardless, and sorted out the expenses later. I think this was cold-hearted and shameful. Especially to let those living creatures die too, do they have no heart?



   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 03:25 PM

Yeah, the guy forgot to pay but at least he offered and you could have given him a fine or something due to not paying it in the first place but at least then the guy would still have his house and his pet which is something I find horrible. Why couldn't they have at least saved the pets lives? Do animals not count and couldn't that possibly be classed as animal cruelty to leave them in a burning building?
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 03:29 PM

I'm actually going to bet that there was some kind of order (not necessarily from the police chief) to not help non-residents who didn't pay.

We have some rural areas out here too. I know they also contract EMS, although they usually use a private company for that.
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 03:32 PM

This happened close to where I live. Like...WPSD is my local news station. I was rather surprised when it started getting more national attention. I remember the day that it happened when it was on the news and I was in complete shock. They definitely should have put the fire out.
But, like Casey said, the firefighters had orders and had they disobeyed they probably would have lost their jobs, and it's difficult enough to find a job around here(or anywhere, really).
The firefighters wouldn't even talk to the local news guy that went out there. They even radioed for police to come escort WPSD off the site. The police didn't come though and the news anchor left without causing trouble.
I understand that there isn't a lot of funding for the fire department which is why they put the fee there. I also understand that they can't just accept payment on the spot because then no one would pay it unless their house was on fire. But, like others have said, they could have charged him extra or something...a late fee of sorts. The guy would have paid it.
You do have to wonder where they would have drawn the line. Obviously not at pets, which is sad enough...but...would they have stepped up and done something if a person was in there? I would hope so. Disobeying orders or not, I wouldn't be able to just stand by while someone died. Although, I think that would put the fire department in a place to be charged with manslaughter or something of the sort.
It's sad, but...at least no one was hurt[physically].



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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 04:43 PM

Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of property damage - and the needless deaths of four animals - for the sake of an unpaid $75 fee which was offered on the spot is something which defies all logic and is frankly bordering on negligence. I'm surprised that a service such as 911 is permitted to refuse to answer calls based on financial criteria, particularly as it's taxpayer-funded in principle anyway. Yes, the firefighters were following instructions, but those instructions were completely irrational and common sense would dictate that you bend the rules when there is a risk to life or property. It's the fire department, not an insurance company.

All I can say is this is going to be a field day for some lawyer when they get hold of it...


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 06:04 PM

Fire fighters=PUT OUT THE DAMN FIRE

I can not understand how they could just stand by and watch the home burn. Yeah they could've lost their job.. but guess what, they could've gotten another one.

A family lost their home over a few bucks with the people that are supposed to help standing around staring at the flames.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 06:28 PM

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Originally Posted by The ANTI-Troll View Post
what happens when you dont pay your bills..

sorta like not paying your insurance bill and your roof falling in cause a tree fell on it and calling insurance company trying to make a claim and offer to pay your missed payment...

i dont agree with it,, but still he didnt pay his bill or whatever so its sorta his own fault

If you're going to go with that argument, let's say a person doesn't pay their bill for their health insurance.
When you go to the hospital, are they going to refuse to treat you because you didn't pay for health insurance? No, because legally, they CANNOT do that. I understand that there was a fee involved, and they should bill him for having to come out (probably more than the $75 fee), but they shouldn't just flat out refuse. Someone's LIFE is in jeopardy - if not just his house, possibly others too.
What would have happened if the fire had become a fully involved, working structure fire that hit other houses as well? I realize this happened in a rural area, but things like wind, dryness, etc. need to be accounted for. What would they have done? Just put the fire out at the houses/areas where the people had paid the fee but not his?

Let's pose another question: Would it change your opinion if the firefighters who would/should have gone on this call were volunteers who weren't at risk of losing their jobs?

To me, it's unacceptable to even think that they would just let it burn, no matter their instructions. SOMEONE should have worked that call; if not for this family, but for the others around them.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 06:49 PM

It shoulda been put out. Regardless if he payed the fine, the guys house was on fire, with animals trapped inside.. What kinda heartless person lets it burn to the ground? Whatever happened to helping people, regardless if you made a buck or not?

I know If I were one of the neighbours, I'd be pretty upset. They endangered the whole area just because someone forgot to pay their fee.. And he also agreed to pay as much as it took, just put out the damn fire.

Personable responsability, schmonsibility. They put out a fire at the residence once before when he didn't pay.. And let him pay the next day. Why not this time?

Such a shame.



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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 08:17 PM

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Originally Posted by 3.14159265358979323846264 View Post

Technically they did have the right to let it burn down...
¬
They may have had the right but they shouldn't have done it. I think you understood perfectly what I meant by that
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 6th 2010, 08:21 PM

Fire protection is supposed to be a service provided by the government and paid through taxes. The fire department involved should be sued for professional negligence and those who made these decisions should be charged with animal cruelty at the absolute bare minimum. Their actions are outrageous and there is no excuse for allowing what happened.
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 7th 2010, 11:05 PM

The fire should have been put out. But I don't think the fact that it wasn't was the fault of the firefighters. It's the fault of their superiors who wouldn't let them do anything.

Imagine being one of those firefighters. You have a family to support and the only thing you know how to do is be a firefighter. If you disobeyed direct orders and got fired, what are you supposed to do then? It's all fine for us to say "just get another job". But jobs aren't that easy to come by, especially not in a rural area. How many of you would put your own family in danger to save someone else's house? Plus perhaps they had been threatened with legal action if they did anything? Which would be even harder to cope with in addition to losing their jobs.

By the time the firefighters were even allowed out there, it was probably too late to save their house. This is a terrible, terrible thing to have happened, but the actual firefighters aren't to blame. You don't become a firefighter if you don't care about lives. I'm sure that the firefighters who were helpless to do anything are incredibly distraught by this as well.



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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 8th 2010, 01:18 PM

This is stupid. It's their job to put out fires. The fee could of been sorted out after.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 8th 2010, 03:02 PM

It was dangerous to just let it burn down, especially since this area has been under a burn ban for months now due to the extremely dry conditions.
I'm still don't blame the actual firefighters, but their superiors, because they weren't even allowed to go out to the site until it was spreading to a neighbors field that had paid the 75$.
BUT, another thing I've been wondering about is the fact that the guy has said that it took about 2 hours for the fire to get bad. It started in a barrel that they were burning trash in (which, as I said previously, that county has been under a burn ban for ages now so technically he wasn't supposed to be doing that) It got out of the barrel and traveled over to their shed and eventually got to the house. But he said it took 2 hours for it to get to the house. So...I mean...couldn't he have gotten a shovel and dug a trench? Gotten a water hose and gotten to it as soon as it got to the barrel? Don't get me wrong, I'm still sad that his house burnt down and that firefighters did nothing about it...just, thinking about it...I don't understand why he didn't try to stop it in the 2 hours? Maybe he did...*shrug*



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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 8th 2010, 07:11 PM

To quote someone much cleverer than I: "morally praiseworthy but not morally obligatory."

The real issue here is that firefighters shouldn't be put in the position of having to choose between following the rules and helping others. Often the best answer to "what should we do in this difficult situation?" is to figure out how to avoid the situation in the first place. The simple and obvious answer is: just have tax-based fire protection.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 9th 2010, 06:02 PM

im gonna be the asshole here. (:
incase you don't know im on a fire dept working volunteer fire/and ems. if you determined there no people inside the house, whats the point of going in? cats and dogs, im sorry people but they can be replaced. no human lives at stake? then from my point of view, why's my crew gonna go in there and risk there own lives? yeah they could've fought it from the outside, that would've made sense. but theres no sense in going in the house.




   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 9th 2010, 08:15 PM

I have to support the firefighters in this. Policies and rules, no matter how silly are to be enforced and followed. The firefighters got their orders and they could have lost their careers disobeying and putting out the fire. As for the 4 animals, well the homeowners got out, they could have easily taken the animals with them. It took the firefighters 2 hours to get there, so presumably somewhere in that 2 hours, the dogs and cats could have been taken out. The firefighters aren't going to rush in to save the animals if they're not going to rush in to put out the blaze in the first place. The presence of trapped animals doesn't make it acceptable for them to disobey orders. It is the duty of firefighters to save human lives but it's also a duty to follow orders. But with it taking 2 hours, I cant help but think couldn't have the homeowners attempted to also put out the fire right when it started? That's the best way to beat it, when it's small or ideally, prevent the fire from ever happening.

They also were told to put out the fire of the person who did pay the silly fee because that homeowner did abide within the rules and did what was meant to be done.

The ones who should be taking the blame are the homeowners and the people who gave the orders to the firefighters. The firefighters aren't the ones at fault, they're being picked on because they're the most readily visible at the time. It's someone else job to figure out which house gets the firefighters, not the actual firefighters as their job is hard enough as is.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 9th 2010, 11:23 PM

This is not really fair; however, one if there was a burn ban he was breaking the law. Two if they had come out once before to put out a fire when he had not paid if they just keep putting his fires out why would he WANT to pay after a while?
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 10th 2010, 12:37 AM

Sounds fair to me, if they put out fires anyway then they couldn't properly enforce the cost, and even if he offered to pay then, the issue is that no one would pay unless they actually had a fire.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 10th 2010, 02:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
I have to support the firefighters in this. Policies and rules, no matter how silly are to be enforced and followed. The firefighters got their orders and they could have lost their careers disobeying and putting out the fire. As for the 4 animals, well the homeowners got out, they could have easily taken the animals with them. It took the firefighters 2 hours to get there, so presumably somewhere in that 2 hours, the dogs and cats could have been taken out. The firefighters aren't going to rush in to save the animals if they're not going to rush in to put out the blaze in the first place. The presence of trapped animals doesn't make it acceptable for them to disobey orders. It is the duty of firefighters to save human lives but it's also a duty to follow orders. But with it taking 2 hours, I cant help but think couldn't have the homeowners attempted to also put out the fire right when it started? That's the best way to beat it, when it's small or ideally, prevent the fire from ever happening.

They also were told to put out the fire of the person who did pay the silly fee because that homeowner did abide within the rules and did what was meant to be done.

The ones who should be taking the blame are the homeowners and the people who gave the orders to the firefighters. The firefighters aren't the ones at fault, they're being picked on because they're the most readily visible at the time. It's someone else job to figure out which house gets the firefighters, not the actual firefighters as their job is hard enough as is.
Firstly the family offered to pay the fee immediately but they flat out refused to take it and would not put out the fire, that squarely puts the blame is on the people at the fire department.

Secondly a separate fee is ludicrous, fire protection is supposed to be paid through taxes. This type of fee issue should not exist in this country.
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 10th 2010, 03:16 PM

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This is in Tennessee/Kentucky, where most of the area is rural. The firefighters had their orders, and I doubt they could disobey them and kept their job. In rural areas where there are no volunteer fire departments, this is what happens. No, it's not right, and it's not fire, but it's part of life. Should they have done something, yes. Could they? Probably not without losing their jobs. Look at both sides of the coin here, it's not a pretty picture but you have to see both sides of the story.
this is kinda sickening id put out a fire even if i would of lost my job, sure i wouldnt of had a job, i would know at the end of the day i would of done something right.


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 10th 2010, 04:40 PM

Thats they're job! They don't get paid to watch houses burn.When my city started laying off policemen and firefighters, a serial killer came, the crime rate went up, and then people burned down all the vacant houses in the city as protest
   
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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 10th 2010, 09:07 PM

they shouldn't let homes burn. why do they work in the 1st place? for money or to make a current town a better place to live in? i know, stupid question, but firefighters aren't typical selfish people, or even the whole lifesaving organization, no difference. there is no exception if someone's life is at danger. and say OKAY, they let homes burn to ground. what happens next? smoke, the whole damage, spreads on 3 blocks away and those people get it too. if they don't resolve damage, they get damage too.

by the way, here 911 works eitherway, people payed or not. i've never heard this kind of a senseless situation. looks like outside, law is getting worse each day. :/


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Re: No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn. - October 11th 2010, 04:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingTrue View Post
Firstly the family offered to pay the fee immediately but they flat out refused to take it and would not put out the fire, that squarely puts the blame is on the people at the fire department.
The article states that the operator on the telephone refused to accept the money. This individual probably isn't a firefighter themselves so the firefighters are innocent in this. I'm certain there is a process for paying the required fee and this may be in-person via cash, credit card, debit card or whatever else. It's not mentioned in the article so I'm assuming this based on the operator following their rules and duties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingTrue View Post
Secondly a separate fee is ludicrous, fire protection is supposed to be paid through taxes. This type of fee issue should not exist in this country.
That's an issue with the politicians and probably the higher-ups at the fire department, such as the fire chief of that state or area. I agree, it should be paid for by taxes and in the rest of that state it is, although this particular area is an exception.


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